Simply providing a cushion at the time, the home run ultimately proved Marvel-ous.
Shaina Marvel’s sixth-inning blow was the difference as visiting University held off Central Valley 7-6 Thursday on another day of taut Greater Spokane League softball.
It was the second bit of late-game homer heroics for Marvel this year, the other coming in a Titans’ victory over Shadle Park.
“Actually, I’m not really a power hitter,” Marvel said. “I’ve been more of a placement hitter.”
But she caught a midlevel inside pitch, sending it high into the air and over the left-field fence at CV for a 7-4 lead.
U-Hi (6-1) then weathered a Bears (5-2) comeback in the seventh, escaping on a game-ending bang-bang play at first base after two runners had scored and the tying run was on base.
“It was nice to see a senior do a good thing,” U-Hi coach Jon Schuh said of Marvel’s homer. “But I would like it when we get a lead that we could hold it. We’ve done this all year.”
Defensive lapses played heavily in the outcome.
CV took a 2-0 lead in the second following an inning-opening error.
Two errors contributed to six Titans runs in the fifth after Bears pitcher Alyssa Erickson had retired 12 of 13 batters through the fourth. Ali Warren hit a two-run single and Ashley Moon a two-run double to complete the big inning.
CV came right back for two runs in the bottom of the fifth, aided by Alexa Morales’ double. Kim Guercio doubled and Jenna Gaskin singled in the seventh-inning runs.
“We had hard-hit balls when we needed them, but we’ve got to do a better job executing on defense and a better job in the (pitching) circle,” Schuh said.
Despite the narrow loss – one of three one-run decisions on the day, CV coach Jeff VanHorne took heart from the contest.
“We had a lot of positives,” he said. “We hit well today and Alyssa pitched a great game. One play here or there and the game is completely different.”
CV outhit U-Hi 9-5, with two each by Erickson and Gaskin.
Marvel finished with two hits and three RBIs, with that one swing tipping the scales U-Hi’s way.
Also in the GSL: At Mead (6-1), Jill Pecka singled home a run and score on winning pitcher Alisha Meade’s squeeze bunt to defeat the East Valley Knights (3-3) 7-6 in 12 innings. The game ended 2-2 in regulation, and from the ninth inning on both teams started with a runner at second base in the International Tiebreaker. Each scored three times in the 10th. Echo Abramson scored for EV on pitcher Tiffany Lucas’ sacrifice fly before the Panthers came back. Pecka was 4 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored. … Jenn Rambo went 5 for 5 as Gonzaga Prep (2-6) defeated visiting North Central (2-5) 13-12. Rambo homered, doubled twice and had six RBIs. She also made a diving stop up the middle and threw out an Indians runner to preserve the lead in the seventh. … Rogers (1-6) scored five times in the first and won 12-5 on 17 hits at Ferris (3-4). Kellsy Sledge had four hits and Whitney Johnson three, each driving in a pair of runs. Amber Ryan had three RBIs. … Shadle Park (6-1) remained tied for first with a 9-1 win at Mt. Spokane (2-5). Haylee Cushner pitched the win and had two hits. Allie Burger was 3 for 4, stole three bases and scored three runs.
•Inland Empire League: Jessica Kraft had two hits, one a two-run home run in the fourth, as visiting Coeur d’Alene (8-1, 2-1) topped Sandpoint (0-7, 0-3) 10-4. Kathy Comack had three hits and Jessica Eppers an RBI triple for the Vikings. CdA’s Amanda Brouillard added two hits and an RBI. Molly Givens went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI for the Bulldogs.